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Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song
     

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song

4.0 3

Cast: Melvin Van Peebles, Simon Chuckster, Hubert Scales, John Dullaghan

 

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Produced, directed, written, scored by, and starring Melvin Van Peebles, this landmark "blaxploitation" film was as controversial as it was popular for its then X-rated story of one African-American man's triumph over the Man. After beating a couple of white cops he witnessed brutalizing a local black revolutionary, sex show performer Sweetback (Van Peebles) has to go

Overview

Produced, directed, written, scored by, and starring Melvin Van Peebles, this landmark "blaxploitation" film was as controversial as it was popular for its then X-rated story of one African-American man's triumph over the Man. After beating a couple of white cops he witnessed brutalizing a local black revolutionary, sex show performer Sweetback (Van Peebles) has to go on the run. As he flees through decrepit South Central Los Angeles, Sweetback demonstrates his formidable potency through sex as well as violence, evading the police manhunt by any means necessary. As Sweetback runs off into the sunset, however, Van Peebles warns that the story, like the 1960s racial strife, isn't over.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Financed and distributed outside the major Hollywood studio apparatus, Sweetback not only broke the rules of Hollywood structure with its energetic montages and jump cuts, it also revealed the financial force of the African-American audience. With its powerful African-American hero expressing rage at the white world in a story starring "the Black Community," as opposed to Hollywood's de-sexed paragons of African-American dignity, the five-hundred-thousand dollar Sweetback grossed more than ten million dollars in 1971, almost all of it from African-American viewers. Driven more by profits than political awareness, the Hollywood studios swiftly followed the example of Sweetback with a wave of early '70s blaxploitation movies, such as Shaft (1971) and Superfly (1972), cashing in by combining a black hero (or heroine) succeeding over white adversaries with copious sex and violence. However, subsequent objections from African-American critics -- that Sweetback's romanticization of the ghetto and male sexual potency was hardly the revolutionary statement Van Peebles would have it be -- also carried over to the blaxploitation formula. As far as the original, Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song loses none of its positive or negative power to provoke even decades after it was made.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/05/2002
UPC:
0000799106433
Original Release:
1971
Rating:
NR
Source:
Xenon

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Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you're a right-winger, a racist or a Republican, forget this film. But if you want to see a metaphor of minority urban life from the 60's,you definitely should see this one. Finally, a black film made independently of the Hollywood shot-callers. Sweetback really 'gets back at the man'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A movie independent of the influence of Hollywood. This movie does not have the hysterical negro, the wise cracking subordinant nor does it have the star paying homage to the intellect or expertise of some benevolent European. Truth is stranger than fiction and often the movies reflect some aspect of our reality. Hollywood refuses to portray African American males as autonomous and having the wherewithall to take it to the man. Because of this point this movie will never be dated. It reminds me that wee need not seek confirmation or approval when considering or deciding on a course of action aimed at protecting and preserving our dignity.